Friday, March 31, 2023

SEALs lost to drug testing isn’t without an impact

VIRGINIA BEACH — Just 1 percent of those serving in the Navy are SEALs, so when 10 of them tested positive for drugs at the same time and are lost to the service, it isn’t without an impact.

“They’re so highly trained and so few that anytime we lose even one it’s a serious matter,” said Lt. Jesus Uranga of the Naval Special Warfare Command’s Public Affairs Office.

He said despite the loss, the unit, an East Coast team based at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, is “still operational.” However, he said, they’re “definitely going to feel it” and that there will need to be some shifting of personnel to fill the holes.

The 10 SEALs and one support staff member were recently caught up in random, but routine, drug testing.

“During a number of command drug tests from March-April 2018, 11 service members from East Coast based Naval Special Warfare units tested positive for controlled substances,” said Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence, also of the Naval Special Warfare Command’s Public Affairs Office. “We have a zero tolerance policy for the use of illicit drugs and as such these individuals will be held accountable for their actions. We are confident in our drug testing procedures and will continue to impress on all members of the command that illicit drugs are incompatible with the SEAL Ethos and Naval service.”

Uranga said there are about 4,000 SEALs currently serving on active duty in the Navy.

According to there are eight SEAL teams, each with six platoons and 16 SEALs per platoon. The platoons are made up of two officers, one chief, and 13 enlisted men.

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